The futures contracts we offer are contracts between two parties, obliging the buyer to buy and the seller to sell 100 USD at a future point in time (expiration date) at a price agreed upon (price of transaction). No actual transaction on USD takes place at expiration, the contracts are financially settled in BTC. These contracts correspond to the ones known from OKCoin and BitMEX and from regular non-Bitcoin derivatives exchanges, such as CME and Eurex.
Currently, there are at least 3 contract maturities, expiring on Fridays 8:00 UTC
Usually, there is also a bi-weekly contract, whenever it is different than the monthly contract.
Quedex supports two notation styles. The exchange matching engine operates in bitcoin notation, natural to bticoin-centric exchange. It treats Bitcoin as the home currency, and prices the contracts
Thus price is expressed in BTC per 1 USD (e.g. a contract might have a BTC price of 0.0025 BTC, so its total value is
0.0025 * 100 = 0.25 BTC.
For convenience, the website and the web app uses inverse notation. This means that:
price in USDBTC = 1 / price in BTCUSD), i.e. the inverse of its bitcoin price.
Inverse notation is also used in quoting OKCoin futures and BitMEX XBU contract. For more details, please consult the inverse notation specification.
Futures on Quedex are margined (read more on margining), which means that you don't have to deposit the
full contract value in order to open a position, only the margin (
= BTC price * notional amount * margin requirement). This means that trading them involves leverage.
1/0.2 = 5). In this case you have to deposit only 20% of the contract's value.
When trading a futures contract, you don't have to deposit the full contract value, only the margin, but you receive
profit and loss (P/L), resulting from the contract's price change, with respect to the whole contract value (
P/L = BTC price change * notional amount). See how it is exactly calculated in margin and P/L
The contracts are settled on the expiration date immediately after the Closing Auction. Currently, all futures are financially settled, which means that no USD is transferred. The P/L is calculated as usually, but the last time it is calculated it uses the settlement price instead of last price. How settlement price is calculated is explained in the settlement article.
Margin for an open position and a pending order is calculated as follows:
margin = margin percent * BTC price * notional amount * quantity
margin- initial or maintenance margin
margin percent- initial or maintenance margin percent, respectively (value available on contract's details page)
BTC price- current contract's BTC price when calculating margin of an open position; limit BTC price for buy orders and max(limit BTC price, best buy BTC price) for sell orders
notional amount- number of units of the underlying
quantity- either position or order quantity
and P/L for open position:
P/L = positions side sign * (last BTC price - trade BTC price) * notional amount * quantity
position side sign- +1 for long position (you've bought the contract) and -1 for short position (you've sold the contract)
last BTC price- BTC price of the last trade
trade BTC price- BTC price at which the position was opened
notional amount- the same as for margin calculation